Princely Ambition: Ideology, castle-building and landscape in Gwynedd, 1194-1283 (Explorations in Local and Regional Histo #10) (Paperback)
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While the Edwardian castles of Conwy, Beaumaris, Harlech, and Caernarfon are rightly hailed as outstanding examples of castle architecture, the castles of the native Welsh princes are far more enigmatic. Where some dominate their surroundings as completely as any castle of Edward I, others are concealed in the depths of forests, or tucked away in the corners of valleys, their relationship with the landscape of which they are a part far more difficult to discern than their English counterparts. This ground-breaking book seeks to analyse the castle-building activities of the native princes of Wales in the thirteenth century. Employing a probing analysis of the topographical settings and defensive dispositions of almost a dozen native Welsh masonry castles, Craig Owen Jones interrogates the long-held theory that the native princes’ approach to castle-building in medieval Wales was characterised by ignorance of basic architectural principles, disregard for the castle’s relationship to the landscape, and whimsy, in order to arrive at a new understanding of the castles’ significance in Welsh society.
Craig Owen Jones is an Honorary Research Associate at Bangor University, Wales, and currently works as a lecturer at San Jose State University, California.